An Ode To A Shit Male Employer

Dear Employer,
You tell me to smile more, so I flash my teeth. You tell me I look tired, so I cake on fourteen layers of concealer and use a £140 eye cream to get that ‘just woke up’ look. You say I’m not working hard enough, and you’re right. There’s twenty four hours in a day and I’m only using eighteen of those hours for you, not including the late night calls or constant pings I receive on my desktop, that I have to reply to in forty eight hours because that’s our policy. But I understand, I’m paid for my life.

You tell me to do things quicker, so I grow an extra two arms and complete twice the amount of reports. You tell me that I’m not catching enough mistakes when proof-reading, so I gain super-zoom vision and even notice when an uppercase I is really a lowercase L.

When I receive that £1150 in my bank at the end of the month, it’ll all be worth it. When £800 of that goes on rent, £63 on bills, and £157 on Council Tax that goes straight back into your pocket, it’s still worth it. When £80 of it goes on the weekly shop at Aldi to buy countless tubs of ice cream and a grab bag of crisps that’s reduced from £3 to £2, still worth it. And when you have to use the remaining £50 to splash out on a birthday present for your cousin, who you completely forgot about and are spending way more then you need to compensate for having forgotten, it’s okay. I love my job.

When I scroll on Indeed.com, I see that all the jobs are either way below my pay range or the requirements are ’30 years in publishing’, ‘must have a Level 18 qualification’. Before landing this one, my inbox was full of “we regret to inform you”, “thank you for coming in for the interview, however…”.

I’m lucky. I have a job. You know that.

A job that involves being cut off mid-sentence. Listening to your upper-class drawl, that sounds of Eton mixed with Oxford. Taking your criticism because you’ve got ten years field experience and couldn’t possibly be sexist with a qualification in Equality Diversity and Inclusion that was really just an e-course that had five questions which you googled the answers to.

I want to say thank you for giving me this opportunity. For having the privilege of your hand on the small of my back and use of the word ‘darling’ at the beginning of every sentence that’s about to detail a mistake I’ve made in editing. For having your ‘out of office’ on, claiming that you’ve caught Covid when I see on your private Instagram account pictures from the Maldives. Thank you, from all of us.

Yours faithfully (and forever tired, in debt, and grimacing grinning),

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